We all know about the problems with the media reporting an error in a prominent story and then “correcting” it in some small corrections section that is rarely read. The effect is that an error has entered into the mainstream discourse, while the correction is barely noticed.
Now, check out Powerline’s reference to a NY Times “Katrina was Bush’s failure” type story. The “corrections” section noted that the number of evacuee children in the Houston area remained at just over 5,000, not 30,000 as reported, and the federal aid received in the area was 222 million dollars, not 22 million as reported.
Correcting an error that is off by a factor of ten in a story like that is like doing a story on the President being shot then putting in the corrections section that it wasn’t a bullet, but rather a small sliver, and it wasn’t his heart that was penetrated it was his big toe.